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Foreign Policy: Theodore Roosevelt vs. Woodrow Wilson

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Nicoletta Pacilli

on 17 March 2013

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Transcript of Foreign Policy: Theodore Roosevelt vs. Woodrow Wilson

Theodore Roosevelt Woodrow Wilson FOREIGN POLICY Theodore Roosevelt's presidency was characterized mainly by his staunch belief in militarism. Strengthening U.S. Defense Abroad Imperialism "Big Stick" Diplomacy Theodore Roosevelt held a firm belief in strengthening the U.S. defense abroad, especially through the Navy. Theodore Roosevelt's foreign policy can also be characterized by his motto of "speak softly and carry a big stick," meaning he supported using force when necessary. Roosevelt also held an imperialistic philosophy. He wanted the United States to be a global power, claiming that American influence would have an ennobling effect on the rest of the world. This philosophy is eminent through Roosevelt's intervention in the Panama War for Independence. He helped the country declare its independence from Colombia, and the newly liberated Panama sported an American made declaration of independence, constitution, and flag. Woodrow Wilson's foreign policy was mainly characterized by his belief in neutrality and governing based on morals. European Affairs Fourteen Point Plan World War I Woodrow Wilson maintained a strong belief in neutrality, seeking to keep the United States out of all European affairs. At the start of World War I, when Germany invaded France's ship, Sussex, Wilson issued the Sussex Ultimatum. This stated that if Germany did not cease submarine warfare, the U.S. would break all diplomatic relations with Germany. This move epitomized America's reluctance to go to war. When the U.S. finally entered World War I, Wilson asserted that the goal of the war was to end militarism and fight for democracy, self-government, and peace, among other things. Although Wilson had declared war on Germany, he continued to claim that the U.S. was fighting the war for moral reasons. After the end of World War I, Woodrow Wilson created the Fourteen Point Plan. This plan epitomized his desire for world peace. It included a general disarmament, new diplomacy, peace, and a league of nations to help prevent future wars. Wilson's Fourteen Point Plan exemplified his conducting of foreign affairs based on morals. Both Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson advocated arbitration instead of war. Although Theodore Roosevelt was more militaristic, he still believed in maintaining peace whenever possible. He even won the Nobel Peace Price for mediating peace negotiations during the Russo-Japanese War. Wilson's Moral Diplomacy policy reinforced his belief in maintaining peace. Arbitration & Peace Imperialism Although Roosevelt was well known for his imperialistic philosophy, Wilson was also imperialistic at times. For example, he used an old-fashioned form of imperialism to buy the Virgin Islands from Denmark. Democracy Both presidents were avid supporters of American democracy and felt the need to spread this ideal around the world. Roosevelt believed in spreading democracy through more militaristic endeavors while Wilson believed it to be a moral duty.
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